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Hill House International / Arnold House / The Hall School

(42 Posts)

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radbabes Thu 19-Sep-13 08:07:25


We live in Marylebone and are considering the above schools for entry in 2015 when our son will be 5 years old.

We've had the parental interviews at Arnold House (AH) and the Hall, and are more confused than ever. The Hall had seemed like a hothouse, but at interview, we warmed to the new head (Mr Godwin), and our interview with AH seemed rather cursory and more about showcasing the head's view of the world. We haven't been to Hill House for a couple of years and remember loving it, but are worried about the commute.

Our son (currently 3 years 3 months) is doing well at his current Montessori - can read 4 letter words, all through his own effort, loves puzzles, is showing an interest in maths. Enjoys sport - tennis, swimming, football. Is also sensitive, and shy at the start, but a chatterbox after the first 5-10 mins. We don't believe in pushing him as we'd rather he learnt and achieved for the joy of it.

So, if there are any Mumsnetters with experience of these schools - whether good or bad - or advice, I'd be very grateful. Also, if anyone has kids in Hill House at present, or if there are any Marylebone mums with kids in any of these schools, I would love to chat and find out about your experience. I'm also trying to find out the school bus route from, say near Baker Street tube to Hill House, and any guidance there would be great.

Thanks, so confused right now!

radbabes Thu 19-Sep-13 11:16:53


CruCru Thu 19-Sep-13 15:11:42

For journeys, have you checked out TFL's journey planner? Should you give you an idea of travel times and also the route.

I have registered DS for the Hall and Arnold House but don't know anything about Hill House.

radbabes Thu 19-Sep-13 15:34:49

Thanks Cru! Was thinking more about the buses run by the school, but it's not too long on the regular bus either.

When is your DS registered for? And do you have any preference as yet?

CruCru Thu 19-Sep-13 17:08:28

DS has just turned 2 so I still have a while to go (he is a September baby so normal intake won't be until September 2016) - however, I think Arnold House don't take them until September 2017 (a year later).

I did a thread a while ago which you may find helpful. Here it is:

North London schools

Lambethlil Thu 19-Sep-13 17:13:49

I loved Hill House- my 3 still have lots of friends from their time there.
Check to see if there's a school bus, otherwise it could be difficult. Or drive? It's no longer in the cc zone.

CruCru Thu 19-Sep-13 17:30:03

Is there info on the school websites about school buses?

radbabes Thu 19-Sep-13 17:46:26

Thanks CruCru - amazed by how many you registered at!
Lambetlil - Hill House is my favourite as I come from an international environment - just worried that they don't spend much time on the reading etc till 8/9 as DS is already reading. It's horrible being a mum at this point - just want my LO to be happy!

radbabes Thu 19-Sep-13 17:47:10

CruCru - HH has a school bus, but it's only for the children - not an option for a 4/5 year old, so we'll be using public transport, I think.

hampsteadmum Thu 19-Sep-13 18:07:52

I have only good things to say about the Hall and its staff. They seem to be easing the kids gently and so far I have not seen any signs of hothousing - just trying to instill a love for learning. They certainly know how to treat little boys. My little one came from Hampstead Hill and if anything he is getting less work at the Hall. I expect this will change as the children grow older. It is an academic school after all. The new head is lovely (as was Mr Lough too). Also great community. Friends with older kids at the Hall also enthuse.

radbabes Sat 21-Sep-13 07:18:14

That's great to hear. I really enjoyed meeting Mr Godwin, and the meeting with him and Miss Anderson seemed most about getting to know about DS.

CruCru Sat 21-Sep-13 10:45:06

radbabes - I know, it's sort of a problem now to be honest. I am expecting a girl so that may eliminate most of the boys' schools (probably).

I'd be interested in hearing which one you go for in the end. I would be surprised if most of the schools in Hampstead / St Johns Wood aren't fairly international, given the people who live there.

radbabes Sat 21-Sep-13 11:01:11

Cru - Our second is a girl, which is why we are leaning more towards Hill House. It's coed, which would make school drop offs less of a pain! Maybe check it out?

CruCru Sat 21-Sep-13 19:02:53

Where is it? Think I ruled out a few on distance (we are in Islington).

radbabes Sat 21-Sep-13 22:14:14

It's in Chelsea - nearest tubes Knightsbridge or Sloane Ave, so would probably be quite a trek from Islington.

CruCru Sun 22-Sep-13 21:23:54

Then I think too impractical for us. To be honest, I'm probably trying to cut my insanely long list of schools down. Please come back and let us know which you choose.

theultimatepushyparent Tue 24-Sep-13 17:45:40

I don't know Hill House but my son has just started Y1 at Arnold House and we went through the assessments for both the Hall and Arnold House. DS1 is blissfully happy there and we're really impressed with the school. TBH I think Arnold House and the Hall are much of a muchness academically, and they are both heavily oversubscribed. I think at AH they see around 150 boys for 38 spaces each year. Many of those spaces are reserved for siblings. It's all a bit of a lottery but the good thing about our area is that there are a lot of good schools. The Hall has a reputation for being tougher (if you aint up to it, they aint afraid to tell you) whereas AH is more nurturing and takes a long term view. The results/ destination schools are very similar.

IsabellaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Oct-13 10:15:54

You might want to try the talk boards on our Local site for Westminster and City here: as this is where local people discuss local issues. Plus we have hundreds of listings for anything you might want or need in the area; it's a fantastic resource for visitors or residents.

jokebook Fri 04-Oct-13 10:36:44

sport at hill house is non existent especially as you move up the school and exams loom. I guess they keep fit by walking around Chelsea....!

radbabes Wed 23-Oct-13 22:35:47

Thanks so much - going off Hill House at the moment - commute is going to be long, not to mention carting DS off to Chelsea / Battersea for endless birthday parties!

WIll check out the Westminster boards.

strawberryfields973 Tue 04-Feb-14 10:05:16

Hello radbabes, I know it is an old post. But just wondering if your ds has had his assessment at The Hall and if you have heard from them yet. Have you made up your mind on the schools? I am in a very similar position to you where I am a bit stuck between Hall and Arnold House.

It will be nice to hear your opinion.

thehuntress Tue 04-Feb-14 11:32:18

We live in Marylebone and my daughter is year 2 at Hill House. She loves it, and has taken the Hill House school bus from 4 years old. The driver is lovely, and even though she can be a bit shy she has always loved the bus. So I wouldn't discount Hill House for that.

radbabes Wed 12-Mar-14 17:10:29

Hi strawberryfields,

My son has his assessments in May. Would love to be able to decide between the two schools, but think we would be very very very lucky to have that luxury. Trying to gently prepare him for the assessments, but DEFINITELY not getting him extra tuition to groom him. Little boys need their rest after a day at school!

DailyBread Thu 13-Mar-14 03:55:13

Strawberryfields, have you had an offer for Arnold House already? DS is having his assessment late as we are out of the UK atm.

Can you give me any idea what it entails? I had no idea people were coaching for this - I naively thought a 15 min chat with a 4 year old would be just that!

radbabes Sat 15-Mar-14 09:07:54

Hi DailyBread,

I hope my post didn't add to your pre-assessment stress. I'm very sorry if it did. I'm not having my son coached for assessment. I know two boys who were coached last year - neither of them were offered places at Arnold House. The one boy I know who got a place was NOT coached. The head at my son's nursery told me the decision (for good or bad) is 60-80% made before the poor little boy walks in for his assessment. They go by the nursery report and parental interview much more than they go by the boy's performance.

My main worry is that my little one freezes up on the day, esp at the Hall, where they are seen in groups of 6, and no amount of coaching can sort that out....

But if anyone can shed any light on the assessment process, that would be greatly appreciated!

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